There's something completely fascinating about gleaning an inside glimpse into the inner workings of a fellow co-worker's product-filled bathroom. Especially when they're a beauty editor. Of course, there are plenty of products we all agree are inarguably untouchable in greatness, but we also have our own application quirks, formula preferences, and beauty aesthetics to cater to, which results in a completely unique hoard of products. (As someone who lives with fellow Byrdie editor Amanda Montell, I know this to be 100% fact.)
I'm also lucky enough to live a hop, skip, and a jump away from contributing editor Kaitlyn McLintock, and more often than not, our weekend festivities kick off with us swiping on mascara and swirling blush brushes in front of her bathroom mirror. What better opportunity to explore her product stash? After accidentally stumbling upon a couple intriguing products on her bathroom vanity, I decided to launch a full investigation in search of undiscovered thingamabobs that would make Ariel and her cove of hidden treasures proud.
Ahead, see the 10 products I recently fell for after discovering them in my beauty co-worker's bathroom.
I can count one hand the number of bronzers I've loved (or heck, even liked enough to tolerate on my face). Therefore, when I found two bronzers I found to look and feel divine on my face, you could have colored me surprised. Even though I had arrived at Kaitlyn's apartment wearing bronzer, her superior bathroom lighting made my face look ghost-like in comparison to my freshly self-tanned body. (The floating face is not a good look.) So after asking politely, I grabbed the first compact that looked like it could correct the issue.
This natural-looking hue is the perfect antidote for delivering a hint of sun-kissed glow, and I couldn't believe how smoothly it blended and buffed into my skin.
When I crave more intense color payoff, I swap Rosewood in for Saddle. It's a rich golden amber, and I love sliding it on my temples, nose, chin, and cheeks for a boost of color and radiance that still manages to be believable. (Not an easy feat where bronzers are concerned, might I add!)
Of course, in order to apply the aforementioned bronzers, I needed a vehicle. And Kaitlyn, bless her heart, immediately offered two of her favorite brushes in support of my efforts. Aside from the brand's lipsticks, which I'm obsessed with, I haven't tried all that many offerings from Jane Iredale. Alas, I was immediately impressed with this brush. It's the perfect size—big enough to efficiently cover the square footage of my face when I'm in a hurry, but small enough to sculpt my cheekbones and nose with the precision I crave.
So technically this lovely fluffy brush is intended to swirl loose powders onto your face with limitless ease. And it succeeds at that! However, I also love to use it with my bronzers. Typically I'll use the smaller dome brush for contouring smaller angular areas, and then I'll reach for this goat-hair pick to swirl and blend a finishing touch of color on larger areas like my forehead, neck, and décolletage.
Kaitlyn and I aren't shy about the love we harbor for under-the-radar makeup brand Onomie, so when we heard the brand had a brand-new debut up its sleeve, we got excited. I have a bad reputation when it comes to the time it takes me to try out new products, but Kaitlyn excels where I disappoint, so when I saw she had already opened her pot of AHA-infused setting powder, I shrieked with glee.
What I love so much about Onomie is its ability to perfectly marry skincare with makeup—something a lot of brands try to do but ultimately fail at. (Sorry, just being 100% honest!) This silky-smooth setting powder is the perfect example; it's enriched with skin-improving ingredients like lactic acid and vitamin C. Fabulous. (Psst! I highly recommend using it with the Chisel brush pictured above!)
My damaged, finely textured hair has made quite the transformation over the year, but I'm still a little self-conscious about it. It still lacks the thickness it had pre-bleaching disaster, so any product touting body-building abilities is a must-try for me. When I arrived at Kaitlyn's, my hair was freshly washed and blown-out, but it looked a little limper than I would have liked.
I love adding a little bit of dry shampoo to my roots to pump my hair up pre-night out (even if it's clean!), so when Kaitlyn offered me this affordable pick from OGX, I was intrigued. The first thing I noticed: the scent. I loved it. The second? The texture the shampoo imparted on my hair. After a few quick spritzes (I even extended my spray technique down my lengths because why the heck not?), my strands, looked as if they had multiplied in number.
Like every other 20-something I know, I'll always have a deep-seated nostalgic obsession with Lip Smackers, and this mega-moisturizing lip balm from beloved Aussie brand Grown Alchemist is the closest thing I've found to a grown-up version. It's vibrant, juicy watermelon scent is basically Freezies and N*Sync in an aesthetically pleasing tube, and it's filled with vitamins, butters, and oils my lips just can't quit. (Kaitlyn, how have you kept this one from me for so long?!)
Considering I typically gravitate toward woodsy, musky scents, I was surprised how much I loved this fragrance from Nest. Described by the brand as "fruity" and "floral," it boasts an enticing draw of French wisteria, Bulgarian rose, and imperial rose. Somehow I had forgotten to douse myself with something before getting into my Uber, so I spritzed this on to make sure I at least smelled like something before going out in public. Go figure—as a perpetual scent skeptic, I ended up loving it, and I ended up getting a few compliments from passersby later on in the evening.
Finding an agreeable SPF formula is almost as difficult as finding an agreeable life partner. And while I've found a few that do a fair job of keeping my skin safe from L.A.'s relentless UV rays, the majority of formulas I've tried end up clogging my pores. (Even the ones that say they won't.)
Knowing this, Kaitlyn shoved this into my hands and let me stow it away in my bag for Sunday beach day safe-keeping. Fast forward to later on in the weekend and I found myself completely smitten with Glossier's lightweight, invisible sunscreen. It spreads insanely easy, doesn't feel like I'm wearing anything on my face, and it doesn't leave any unflattering cast.
I love playing up my lips, so I pretty much try every single gloss, serum, oil, or mask I come across promising to boost the volume of my pout. (Few have worked; most have not.) However, as Kaitlyn passed this unfamiliar pot to me, she promised I'd fall head over heels, explaining that it would really increase the contour of my lips.
Right away, I noticed the addictive tingling sensation of a lip plumper that's actually going to work. A few minutes later, I turned to the mirror and couldn't believe how prettily plumped both my upper and bottom lips looked. Sure, the effect didn't last all night, but I'll definitely want to keep this enzyme and hyaluronic acid–infused mask stashed in my purse 24/7 from here on out.